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Beautimous Florida Sunset On The Beach |Beach Photography by Rachel Abrahams

I live on the East Coast of Florida which means we have sunRISES over the beach - not sunsets. In other words, to see the beautiful light on the water I need to get up early and, well, that's really hard for me. I always promise myself I will get up really early on the weekend (cough), especially since I am up that early anyways during the week (cough cough), and go down to the beach for some sunrise photos (cough cough cough). I'm sorry - I keep coughing at my own good intentions (that I keep sleeping through). When I was invited to visit the West Coast of Florida, which meant I would finally see the sun set OVER the ocean, I was a happy little camper.

I do admit almost every time I visit the beach and see the sun setting, I think of my friend Justin who visited us "east coasters" when I was in college. We all went to the beach and to maximize our sun bathing time, we turned our towels toward the sun (away from the water) and Justin just laughed at us. He wanted to know why we would waste a perfectly good beach visit by not facing the actual ocean. Then he plopped down his chair into the sand, facing the water, and continued to make fun of and cracked up at us. I had to remind him our sun doesn't set over the ocean. When he pointed out he's from the west coast of Florida and they get the joy every day of seeing the sun set over the Gulf of Mexico, I was quite green with the jelly monster.

Ever since having that conversation, I craved seeing the sun set over the ocean and wasn't going to miss my photographic chance when I finally got to see it.

Getting back to my west coast visit; A storm passed through prior and its remnants hung around during sunset. The colors were intense and began as pastels, deepening into amazing blues, and then ending the light show in purples. Each time I'd think I saw the best the sunset had to offer it would shift into a new color level. I stayed down on the beach for close to an hour - which did result in getting eaten alive by the sand fleas. I didn't care and called the bites my badge of honor.

Looking at these photos, it was definitely worth it.

Magic Of Main Street | DISNEY PHOTOGRAPHY by Rachel Abrahams

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To me, this is the classic Walt Disney World memory of Magic Kingdom: Walking up Main Street, Cinderella's castle lit up in the distance as a beacon of imagination, balloon vendors selling the classic Mickey balloons, families stopping in the middle of main street to pose for the Disney Photopass Photographers, and crowds meandering along the sides where the shops are to either do some window shopping or find the perfect souvenir. I absolutely love to stop here and take it all in but sometimes it can just be too crowded to take a moment and enjoy this. I was so happy I could capture it this lovely evening. We were entering the park for Magic Hours (12AM-3AM) so most people were clearing out, exhausted, and ready to go back to their hotel beds. We were just getting started - fresh and energized!

I have Disney on the brain lately. I haven't gone that much this year (well, MY definition of not that much) because it was just SOOOOO hot. I'm telling you, the locals don't go to Disney when it is so hot. If we do, it's because our relatives are visiting since their kids are out of school. We are lucky enough to be able to delay and go when the weather is better and this is the time of year for it. (Insider's Tip: February and March are also great times to go and the crowds aren't as massive then.The weather can be a bit unpredictable but I trade that any day for crazy long lines and heat.)

Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party is going on at Magic Kingdom right now and so is the Epcot Food and Wine Festival. Soon enough, the holiday decorations will go up and all the holiday activities will begin. I get super excited when that begins. Disney's Christmas decorations are amazing. So, it's "Disney Season" for me. It's time to get over there while the weather isn't too hot and before the HUGE holiday crowds show up in December.

When you visit Disney, what is "The Thing" you have to do that makes it real and allows you to know the magic has begun? Is it Main Street as well? Or is it a certain ride? Restaurant? Classic Disney treat? I'd love to know. For me, seeing any of the Disney parks at night and lit up is an absolute must. That's when the magic really happens for my trip.